Sunday, November 16, 2008

Shining God’s Light on the Koran – God Communicating with Man Part 1B

Sam continues his on-going series which contrasts the Judeo-Christian Bible with the Islamic Koran on a variety of topics. He aims the beam of the Biblical laser on the Koran to expose, to reveal what it really says. See his previous articles here.


God’s Verbal Interaction with Man, Part Two

In the Koran, Allah is said to not directly verbally communicate with mankind. In the Holy Bible, however, God is said to have verbally communicated with several men. Let’s consider the three patriarchs of Israel Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

THE KORANIC ACCOUNT

It is beneath the dignity of Allah to condescend to speak to a mortal with the exception of disclosing information or only in speaking from behind a covering hidden from view or by dispatching a messenger who reveals with His permission what He pleases; certainly He is Exalted and exercises good judgment (Surah 42:51).

COMMENTARY ON THE KORANIC ACCOUNT

According to the Koran, Allah does not lower himself to speak directly to mortals. He may reveal something of new significance to someone but not usually. He will hide himself behind a sheet or send a messenger to deliver the message he wants to send people. Such as when Gabriel was sent to speak to Muhammad in order to reveal Allah’s word to him.

BIBLICAL ACCOUNT

God speaks to Abraham Four Times Besides the Theophany

I. ... Now the Lord had said unto Abram, “Get you out of your country, and from your kindred, and from your fathers house, unto a land that I will show you: And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless you, and curse him that curseth you: and in you shall all families of the earth be blessed (Genesis 12:1-3).”

II. ... The word of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision, saying, “Fear not, Abram: I am your shield, and your exceeding great reward.” And Abram said, “Lord God, what will You give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus?” And Abram said, “Behold, to me You have given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir.” And, behold, the word of the Lord came unto him, saying, “This shall not be your heir; but he that shall come forth out of your own bowels shall be your heir.” And He brought him forth abroad, and said, “Look now toward heaven, and count the stars, if you be able to number them”: and He said unto him, “So shall your seed be.” And he believed in the Lord; and He counted it to him for righteousness (Genesis 15:1-6).

III A. ... When Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, “I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. And I will make my covenant between me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly.” And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying. “As for me, behold, my covenant is with you, and you shalt be a father of many nations. Neither shall your name any more be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made you. And I will make you exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come out of you. And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your seed after you. And I will give unto you, and to your seed after you, the land wherein you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.” And God said unto Abraham, “You shalt keep my covenant therefore, you, and your seed after you in their generations (Genesis 17:1-9).”

III B. ... Abraham said unto God, “O that Ishmael might live before you!” And God said, “Sarah your wife shall bear you a son indeed; and you shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him. And as for Ishmael, I have heard you: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly: twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation. But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto you at this set time in the next year.” And he left off talking with him, and God went up from Abraham (Genesis 17:18-21).

IV. ... Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham, mocking, Isaac. Wherefore she said unto Abraham, “Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac.” And the thing was very grievous in Abraham’s sight because of his son. And God said unto Abraham, “Let it not be grievous in your sight because of the lad, and because of your bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto you, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall your seed be called (Genesis 21:9-12).”

God speaks to Isaac Twice

I. ... There was a famine in the land, besides the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went unto Abimelech king of the Philistines unto Gerar. And the Lord appeared unto him, and said, “Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell you of: Sojourn in this land, and I will be with you, and will bless you; for unto you, and unto your seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham your father; And I will make your seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto your seed all these countries; and in your seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statues, and my laws.” And Isaac dwelt in Gerar (Genesis 26:1-6).

II. ... Isaac went up from Rehoboth to Beersheba. And the Lord appeared unto him the same night, and said, “I am the God of Abraham your father: fear not, for I am with you, and will bless you, and multiply your seed for my servant Abraham’s sake (Genesis 26:23,24).”

God speaks to Jacob Three Times
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I. ... Jacob rose up in the night, and took his two wives and his two women servants, and his eleven sons, and passed over the ford Jabbok. And he took them, and sent them over the brook, and sent over that he had. And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him. And he said, “Let me go, for the day breaketh.” And he said, “I will not let you go, except you bless me.” And he said unto him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” And he said, “Your name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince have you power with God and with men, and have prevailed.” And Jacob asked him, and said, “Tell me, I pray thee, your name.” And he said, “Why do you ask me my name?” And he blessed him their. And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved (Genesis 32:22-30).

II. ... God said unto Jacob, “Arise, go up to Bethel, and dwell there: and make there an altar unto God, that appeared unto you when you fled from the face of Esau your brother (Genesis 35:1).”

III. ... God Appeared unto Jacob again, when he came out of Padan-aram, and blessed him. And God said unto him, “Your name is Jacob: your name shall not be called any more Jacob, but Israel shall be your name”: and he called his name Israel. And God said unto him, “I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of you, and kings shall come out of thy loins; And the land which I gave Abraham and Isaac, to you I will give it, and to your seed after you will I give the land.” And God went up from him in the place where he talked with him (Genesis 35:9-13).

COMMENTARY ON THE BIBLICAL ACCOUNT

God met personally with each of the three patriarchs face to face: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. God established an everlasting covenant with Abraham, which was to extend to his descendants through Isaac and Jacob. God gave the land of Canaan to Abraham and to his descendants through Isaac and Jacob for an eternal possession. God blessed Ishmael because he was a child of Abraham but he was not one through whom the covenant of Abraham or the eternal possession of Canaan would pass to his descendants. It was through Isaac and Jacob that the descendants of Abraham would be counted and not Abraham’s other sons; Ishmael, Shuah, Cimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, and Ishbak.

COMPARING & CONTRASTING THE KORAN WITH SCRIPTURE

Though the god of the Koran made mankind mortal he considers it beneath his dignity to meet personally with mankind. The God of Scriptures created Adam and Eve immortal but through disobedience to God they become mortal, and therefore subject to death. Still He humbled himself to meet on a personal basis with mortal man. He even made an eternal covenant with them.

CONCLUSION

Which God would you prefer to serve? Do you want to serve the one who will not humble himself to meet with mortal man, or the One who is humble enough Himself to meet with mortal man?

REFERENCES

The Koran’s passages is a paraphrase of several English translations:
The Koran, translated by N.J. Dawood: A Penguin Classic
The Qur’an, translated by M.H. Shakir: Tahrike Tarsile Qur’an, Inc.
The Holy Qur’an, translated by Maulana Muhammad Ali: Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha’at Lahore Inc. U.S.A.
The Koran, translated by Marmaduke Pickthall: Everyman’s Library
The Holy Bible is paraphrased from:
The King James Version
The Liberty Annotated Study Bible, Liberty University & Thomas Nelson, Inc.

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